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Archive for the ‘Micro-organisms’ Category

Microscopic Sea Shells – Part 2

Posted by Laura Ashby on Sunday, September 2nd, 2007

On Foraminifera and Radiolaria (which are also microscopic sea shells):

‘The importance of both stems from the fact that radiolaria and planktonic foraminifera live at or near the ocean surface and their shells incorporate a record of surface-water conditions as they grow. But it is the calcareous sediments, formed by the rain of dead planktonic foraminifera through the abyss, that have traditionally formed the backbone of climatic and oceanographic research.’

Richard Corfield, The Silent Landscape: In the Wake of HMS Challenger 1872-1876, London: John Murray, 2004, p.135

Microscopic Sea Shells

Posted by Laura Ashby on Thursday, August 16th, 2007

I’ve been writing my poem Feedback Loop, written from the point of view of a type of shelled plankton called the Foraminifera and I’ve discovered that the poet Sarah Maguire has written a poem about the Foraminifera too. I’m relieved to find that the two poems are so dissimilar. Hers is very lovely and can be found here:

http://www.thepoetryhouse.org/PHProjects/Project7/project7.html

and mine will be soon available on the main Small Worlds website.

Small Kingdoms

Posted by Laura Ashby on Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

One of the themes of Small Worlds is that our usual (large) world isn’t the only one.

Colin Tudge says this:

“Indeed, whereas taxonomists once recognised just two kingdoms of eukaryotes (animals and plants) or three (animals, plants, and fungi), or four (animals, plants, fungi and ‘protoctists’), some modern biologists now acknowledge 20 kingdoms or more, and most of these are protists. Our own kingdom, the Animalia, has thus been dramatically demoted: from a conceptual 50 per cent of the whole to less than 5 per cent. Thus humans have been driven from the centre of the biological stage just as the astronomy of Copernicus and Galileo shifted planet Earth from the centre of the Universe.”

Colin Tudge, The Variety of Life, Oxford: OUP, 2000, p.128

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